You have to be happy for Frank Clark, who has gone from tragedy to triumph over the past couple of years. Almost exactly two years ago, he sadly lost his father and other relatives in a Cleveland fire. Last year at this time, he said, “Let’s get this paperwork (i.e., contract) done so we (can) go on this hunt. I’m tired of the same results.” Well, the paperwork turned out to be trade papers and a new contract with the Chiefs, who gave him the $104 million Seattle would not. And then he got the different results he wanted by helping the Chiefs win Super Bowl LIV.
The lesson the Seahawks hopefully learned: It’s OK to pay a pass rusher top dollar. It might actually help you win a Super Bowl. They need to pay their top pass rusher, Jadeveon Clowney, this time.
One reason to think they will: Jody Allen. Last March, Pete Carroll called Allen “aggressive” and Bob Condotta reported she was even more assertive about winning now than her late brother Paul was. After watching the Hawks fail on defense last season, she hopefully will push John Schneider to pay Clowney and upgrade the defensive line so Seattle can take the next step in 2020. And then maybe history will repeat itself: The last time the 49ers were in the Super Bowl, 2012, the Seahawks followed up by winning the next one.
Speaking of being aggressive, Russell Wilson talked in Miami about trying to change Seattle’s historic slow offensive starts: “That’s what we’ve got to figure out as we go on through this offseason. … We’ve always been really good at two-minute. We’ve always been really good at … those up-tempo moments. The reality is the defenses get tired. The second thing is I really know how I want to get after them, especially in those moments. … (I like) the freedom of going after it and just scoring as many points (as possible). That’s kind of what the Chiefs do.
“The reality is we’ve won a lot of games over the years, but there’s also the expectation of being here (at the Super Bowl) … and winning it all. We’re going to try to figure that out and see if we can get back here quickly.”
Some fans have talked about the Hawks needing to upgrade their No. 3 receiver to help their offense. But, if the reported interest in Austin Hooper is correct, the Hawks might be looking to create a stellar trio of veteran tight ends instead. Hooper, Will Dissly and Jacob Hollister could create some amazing mismatches alongside Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf — a great all-around quintet for receiving and blocking.
Here’s one fun little free agency scenario: Re-sign Clowney ($20 million a year), tender Hollister ($3.3 million) and add Hooper ($8 million), pass rusher Dante Fowler ($15 million), center Graham Glasgow ($8 million) and nose tackle Michael Pierce ($5 million). The Hawks could cut Justin Britt to add Glasgow (and add some cap space) and also dump Ed Dickson, Tedric Thompson and Nick Bellore to make room to offer George Fant as much as $6 million (if his market doesn’t go higher). The Hawks would still have $8 million or so in cap space — enough to re-sign Geno Smith at the vet minimum and tweak the bottom of the roster.
This is the second straight year a lineman drafted by Seattle has made the Hall of Fame. Last year it was Kevin Mawae; this time it was Steve Hutchinson. Two years ago, we related the crazy drama (as retold by Mike Holmgren and Hutch) that started with Hutch leaving Seattle and eventually led to Pete Carroll taking over. It’s a soap opera worth reading again.